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  • Chris Farlie

Long Road Festival - Priscilla Block - Interstate & Rhinestone Stage

Priscilla Block's star in the UK is certainly on the rise, following a successful C2C appearance, her Long Road Festival sets are part of a 5 date UK & Ireland tour. She is larger than life in all ways and fair play to her for challenging the stereotype of what a country performer should look like, the important thing surely is what you sound like and what you have to say. A packed Interstate Stage tent was a testament to her rise in popularity for a set that was a bit like a party – a Block party!

The band took to the stage to a loud backing track and within seconds a big electric riff heralded the arrival of the lady herself, toasting the crowd with drink as they launched into “Block Party”. A commanding presence with great support from the songs co writer Sarah Jones on rhythm guitar and backing vocals, the party was well and truly started.

Things slowed down a little with the rootsier “Ever Since You Left” before the party swiftly resumed with “This Is My Bar” prefaced with the words “You wouldn’t leave a bar if there was someone you didn’t like there”. It is the rapport that she builds with her audience that is undoubtedly behind her popularity – even in a large tent it felt like she was addressing you and not just the front row or two – and when she asked for a little audience participation it seemed to be the whole tent singing along.

The band were dispensed with for a reprise of the song that served her so well on the big C2C stage earlier in the year – “Peaked In High School”, a song for all the those doubters who say that you won’t succeed. The stage was bathed in red light and dry ice, at times Priscilla almost disappeared. It showed as if it needed proving that this lady didn’t require a full band to command your attention.

A 90’s medley flew by with Priscilla working every inch of the stage. A new song “Off The Deep End”, opened to a huge drum beat and Priscilla pointing out into the audience, this was another of her more rootsier songs and came with a punchy chorus. Priscilla’s introductions were pithy and engaging so when she says “This one is about getting drunk and missing someone” as she does before “Wish You Were the Whiskey” she already has the listener in a receptive mood ready for it’s big anthemic chorus.

The issue of being told to lose weight to make it cropped up in the introduction to “Thick Thighs” which closed to as loud a round of applause as we would hear all evening. One final song “Just About Over You” brought things to a close full of soaring guitar work – Proscilla looked and sounded truly overwhelmed by the reception.

Priscilla was to return the next day on the Rhinestone Stage in the late afternoon, not necessarily the right time for a party, and it probably took until the third song "Ever Since You Left" before the heights of the previous night were approached. There was an interesting revelation such as "Wish You Were The Whiskey" being written with Jason Aldean in mind and also a slight change in set with the 90's medley being replaced by "Like A Boy" which ended with a mass audience singalong.

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